Mears Group supports Highland schools in drive to net zero

Mears Group supports Highland schools in drive to net zero

Mears Group’s partnership with Alpha Schools saved schools across the Highlands the equivalent of 252 tonnes of carbon dioxide and one million KWH of electricity during 2023.

The Facilities Management arm of the Group implemented its ambitious LED lighting project across 11 schools in 2023, following an initial trial which was carried out at Millburn Academy in Inverness in January 2023.

The financial aspects and benefits were analysed for the client to indicate the savings in cost, CO2 reduction and commitment to their net carbon zero plan over a five-year period. The new system helps reduce energy costs by automatically turning lights off in unoccupied rooms and dimming them in response to daylight levels. The use of LED lighting also means that maintenance costs are lower as they last five times longer than the fluorescent equivalent.

The project is expected to reduce electricity consumption by another half a million KWH and save 112 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2024.

Alex Ballentine, FM General Manager, Highlands, at Mears Group, said: “We’re really pleased to be working to support these schools on their journeys to net zero. One of the key parts of this project was communication, working with the staff and students at the schools to ensure what we were proposing was fit for purpose, and the feedback received has been positive.

“Since starting the project in January 2023, we have already seen an average reduction of 25% in terms of both electricity consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.”

Kerry Sinclair, Head Teacher at Millburn Academy, added: “It’s great that Mears is helping us achieve our ambitious net zero targets and taking the carbon management of the school so seriously. The new LED lighting has not only helped us reduce our energy levels but has made the school a lot brighter.

“The Mears team who installed the new lighting were friendly and helpful, and even educated the children and staff on how we can help improve our carbon footprint.”

Mears’ team is now building on the success of the LED lighting project and looking at where else this approach can be rolled out across its portfolio including a recent LED lighting initiative at St Andrew’s Hospital in Fife.

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